Mumbai Food: Chefs give boring vegetables a makeover

Updated: 16 December, 2018 14:42 IST | Kasturi Gadge | Mumbai

City chefs are giving the otherwise boring veggies a fine-dining makeover

Growing up, vegetables such as lauki, pumpkin, beans et al, have been a nemesis for most of us. But now, the trends are shifting and restaurateurs have started using these humble ingredients into something that fits well on a fine-dining menu. Ready to order lauki?

Arbi 65
Global Quarters has picked up the lesser known arbi and given it a South Indian makeover by making an Arbi 65. Meghnesh Salian, a partner at Global Quarters, says, "We tried it with the classic Hyderabadi-style 65 recipe and it worked wonders. It pairs well with drinks or just as an appetiser."
Use it at home: You can make it interesting with little experiments here and there. Boiled arbi blended with salt, tahini, olive oil and a pinch of paprika will give you a very good alternative to hummus.

Pulled jackfruit nachos

Pulled jackfruit nachos
Chef Rakesh Talwar of Butterfly High took a leap of faith by adding pulled jackfruit nachos to their bar eats. He decided to top the nachos with a spicy jackfruit sauce with beans along with sour cream and salsa. He explains, "Curating the vegetarian menu beyond potatoes and paneer can be a challenge sometimes." So, he felt putting together nachos - loved by everyone - and jackfruit would make it a unique dish, without jackfruit overpowering the taste.
Use it at home: Jackfruit mixed with turmeric, black pepper and salt, pan-fried is easy and tasty.

Cauliflower steak

Cauliflower steak
Chef Sahil Arora, 266 - The Wine Room & Bar, says, "For the love of cauliflower, the Punjabi in me wanted to create a dish using cauliflower and make it palatable to customers at the same time." He explains that with just a little salt and pepper on baked cauliflower creates magic with textures, giving you a creamy centre and a crusty glaze.
Use it at home: Just the right amount of seasoning and herbs elevate the taste of cauliflower. You can try making a baked cauliflower with cheese.

Beetroot carpaccio

Beetroot carpaccio
Our mothers have always supported this ingredient and forced it down on us in salads. But Jérémie Horowitz of Cafe Zoe gave it a makeover in the form of a carpaccio. Traditionally, this is a dish in which meat or fish is thinly sliced and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. Horowitz elaborates, "The earthiness of the beetroots is a great substitute for the meat."
Use it at home: Roast beetroot salad with feta mousse, dressed with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and garnished with raw onions.

Lauki lasagna

Lauki lasagna
Lauki, aka bottle gourd, has never managed to excite anyone. But Jerson Fernandes of Jeon thinks that it is, in fact, one of the most versatile vegetables. At his restaurant, Fernandes has created a lasagna out of lauki. "I love the texture of lauki and after a lot of experimentation, I came up with the idea of a lasagna in which the lauki is sliced, dried, seasoned and grilled to perfection with other vegetables and served as a traditional Italian lasagna."
Use it at home: Try different cooking techniques like grating to make cutlets, thick slicing to grill it and using it in a lasagna.

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First Published: 16 December, 2018 10:48 IST

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